LSD, Krazy Glue, radioactivity, Teflon, Viagra, X-rays, the planet Uranus, penicillin, corn flakes, gravity – the list of things we would never have heard of if we didn’t occasionally luck out as scientists is virtually endless.
Serendipity is roughly “good luck in making unexpected and fortunate discoveries”. A good deal of the most amazing […]
Nomenclature is a bitch. Element 74 (W) in the periodic table is tungsten in English. Since “tung sten” is Swedish for “heavy stone”, and since the element was discovered by a Swedish 18th century chemist (Carl Willhelm Scheele), the etymology appears pretty uncomplicated. Until you realize that in contemporary Swedish, element 74 is […]
Despite the fact that the dictionary says…
Dropwise (adverb): one drop at a time
… and we will phrase it like this…
“With good stirring at -78 ºC under argon, a solution of n-butyl lithium in hexanes (2.5M, 37.5 mmol, 15 mL) was added dropwise over 20 mins.”
… this is what actually happened…
Chloral hydrate, or 2,2,2-trichloroethane-1,1-diol to the IUPAC confessor, is a controversial little chemical, in at least three different ways that I can think of right now.
I am pretty sure Justus von Liebig did not see it coming, the day he first prepared it in 1832. (Note to the layman: Justus is to […]
In the typical small molecule synthesis lab today, almost everything but the actual synthesis is handled by robots or machines. Why can’t a robot go to the chem storage room, draw up exactly 19.01 mL of 1.52M n-BuLi (freshly titrated by another robot!) in a syringe, roll over to the fume hood and inject […]
What do you think, guys? Will our kind – the synthesis chemists – still be around in, let’s say, 25 years from now? (By “around” I mean still here in the Western World.) We can all agree that organic synthesis is damn expensive. Will society, academia and industry be able to pay for the services […]
How did you get into organic chemistry in the first place? For me, it started with amphetamine.
It is not as bad as it sounds.
In the summer of 1994, fresh out of high-school, I was at a party at this girl’s place, and some guy I had never met before came up to […]
I wish I was at liberty to share more details about my own work in this forum. I can say this much: The synthetic methods described in these two papers work. Both are about new ate-complexes as alternatives to traditional Grignard reagents, butyl lithium and lithium amides in selective transmetalation/deprotonation (followed by electrophile-trapping) reactions. I […]
Hey, just look at the following definitions:
Science (from the Latin scientia, meaning “knowledge”) is an enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the world.
Art is the process or product of deliberately arranging elements in a way to affect the senses or emotions.
I would say […]
I recently installed fresh versions of ChemDraw, ISIS Draw and SciFinder on a new computer. Nowadays these programs, and possibly many more, share this super-annoying feature (bug, if you ask me): “Hide implicit hydrogens” is checked by default.
This is lunacy. Imagine if Microsoft Word had a “hide all vowels” option enabled by […]